Are you prepared to be a concierge service and not be a traditional real estate agent anymore?
Suppose you want to get into the luxury real estate business. In that case, one of the first questions is how to attract high-end real estate clients.
Your marketing methods, as well as your professional services, will need to be at an above-average level, including also concierge services for a significantly demanding clientele requiring a high marketing budget.
Since the largest part of high-end clients will come from referrals, an already good track record as a real estate professional will be necessary.
But there is much more to it.
That’s why, in today’s article, I will discuss why you might want to attract high-end real estate clients, their psychological profiles, and the different strategies you can most likely attract them.
Two Reasons Why You Might Want to Attract High-End Real Estate Clients
You probably want to attract high-end real estate clients for several reasons.
Have you watched the Netflix series “Selling Sunset”?
The real estate brokerage company “Guggenheim Group” is filmed selling various multimillion-dollar homes.
It looks kind of easy to earn six to seven-figure commissions in just one deal.
So, I wouldn’t blame anybody who wants to get into this real estate niche because of the higher earning potential per deal.
This is probably one of the biggest reasons to enter the luxury real estate market.
Another reason is that you presumably do the same marketing for a median-priced property, just for a luxury home.
So your marketing costs stay the same, but on the revenue side, you will get more out of it (a higher return on investment).
However, this reason is a flawed perception, as you will soon read in this article.
The Psychology, Behaviors, and Personalities of High-End Real Estate Clients
To do some groundwork before we get into the how-to, we need to know which type of target customers we are likely dealing with.
What are their needs and greeds?
This part of the work is always the first thing to do before we can define the marketing approach.
A question to ask here is what psychological, behavioral, and personality traits high-end real estate clients are likely to have.
Let’s start with some counter-intuitive psychological facts.
A Boston College and Harvard Business School study states that buying luxury items can backfire and make the consumer feel worse. (source)
It can even nurture something called impostor syndrome.
When someone suffers from impostor syndrome, they doubt their accomplishments and fear being called a “fraud.”
The study continues by mentioning that luxury items consumers very often feel inauthentic and, as a result, behave less confidently.
Luxury goods provide buyers with a feedback loop.
Every time you, for example, wake up in your master bedroom that leads to the infinity pool with stunning views of a valley or the sea, it reinforces your positive self-beliefs (that you are a winner, you are someone of worth, that’s who you are and who you are working to become).
The luxury buyer not only consumes to make an outstanding exterior impression but also to compensate for interior psychological pain and a harmed self-worth. (source)
Suppose you are empathic and can see a bit through people.
In that case, you will find many examples in the initially mentioned Netflix series.
Although it is a show where I assume sometimes a bit of acting is involved, you will still be able to observe many people with harmed self-worth (not to be confused with self-esteem).
Another fact is that when it is difficult to determine a product’s quality, consumers tend to prefer prices set at a higher level.
This higher price conveys a sense of reliability that the product is also likely to be high quality. (source)
Let’s get a bit more into concrete high-end real estate client behavior.
When it comes to high-end real estate, buyers are usually busy people.
They don’t want to research neighborhood amenities, school ratings, and other potential local benefits for hours.
Unless their profession isn’t just being daddy’s son and busy spending old money handed down from generation to generation, they have the purchasing power for a reason.
This is usually done through hard work, and they know what they have achieved.
Because of their business and the high value they attribute to their time, they also don’t want to worry about scheduling home inspections or looking for plumbing repair companies.
This is also true when it comes to being able to reach you. Instant replies are expected.
Because of their higher time awareness, they also need efficient communication.
So you must listen carefully to their needs and communicate each step from the first contact to closing the deal.
That’s why you will also have an advantage when you can provide improved processes and be overall more efficient.
To help you better understand how to attract them in the next step, let’s summarize the kind of conflicting customer profile of a high-end client.
The Summarized Profile of a High-End Client
On the one hand, these clients are usually high achievers, highly time aware, aware of what they have achieved, and quite demanding.
So they expect the best from the product (the property) and the real estate professional.
On the other hand, there is this need to make an outstanding exterior impression and compensate for interior psychological pain and a likely harmed self-worth.
To get a high-quality property, they prefer higher price levels because this conveys some reliability that the product will also have a high quality.
In the next section, you will learn how we can take advantage of this information for the marketing part.
Ways to Attract High-End Real Estate Clients
There were several cringe-worthy scenes in the Netflix series “Selling Sunset.”
I was often fascinated by the superficiality of some of the luxury realtors in this series and thought, “how is this even possible?”
Nevertheless, you can find marketing takeaways and gems for attracting high-end real estate clients.
So, let’s dissect a bit what they did:
- Many open houses, and particularly events and gatherings when they got a new listing under contract
- The brokers own branded high-quality print magazines with their listings, which were presented during open houses, and sent out by mail.
- Homes were always staged.
- ‘Driving for dollars’ and letting developers know about the real estate services by handing out the branded magazine with listings or business cards.
- Steadily expanding their activities to new neighborhoods.
- Sending out print materials
- A top-designed and branded office, with branded coffee cups and even customized door knobs in the shape of their logo
- Logos on the license plates of the realtors’ cars
- High-end agents’ cars (e.g., Porsche, Range Rover, Ferrari, etc.)
- Very well-dressed and above-average-looking realtors
- Advertising on a giant billboard on the main street in L.A.
- Co-listings with other agents and brokers
Because of the above-mentioned high-end client profile, you are not very likely to attract such clients through digital marketing with, say, Google Ads or Facebook Ads.
This is especially true when you use these channels to start, which are still in the beginning stages and not so well known.
This can be done with median-priced homes, but it won’t cut it with high-end real estate clients, although many seem to be down to earth and not overly flashy.
But these clients are demanding what can be seen in the Netflix series and from what I experienced.
Once you are more well-known, you can and should also do online marketing.
But as Daniela Andreevka (Marketing Director) mentioned, referrals are your best marketing tool in luxury real estate.
She states: “If you’ve worked with people buying or selling luxury real estate, chances are that they know other people who will be buying luxury properties in the future.
Since the luxury real estate market is limited, you have to do your absolute best to keep good relations with your past clients to make sure they send you referrals from among their friends and family.” (source)
The same is confirmed by Michael Greensporn in the same article:
“In high-end real estate, referrals are how most people land new clients. When being referred, clients will dive into Google to check your credibility before making a decision on whether to use you.
If your personal branding looks cheap and dated, so do you.” – Michael Greenspoon (source)
Relationships are always important in real estate, but it seems even more true in the high-end segment.
You could also observe this in the marketing methods used in the abovementioned real estate show.
This leads me to the following additional 15 strategies and facts to attract high-end real estate clients in effective ways:
1) Build relationships in high-end neighborhoods. Yes, this can also be done even in local coffee shops.
2) Make the way you dress consistent with the high-end properties you are offering.
It sounds a bit superficial, but this is a perception game.
If you sell million-dollar properties, you also want to look like a million dollars.
Besides, as confirmed in this scientific article (source), you will also change your behavior when dressing up.
Remember that these clients associate high prices with high value.
3) Following up and staying in touch with past clients is always important, as discussed in my article here.
But it’s even more important in the high-end real estate market.
By doing that, it will be more likely that you will generate referrals.
By the way, even when you stay in contact with buyer or seller clients that are not yet on the high-end level, someday they might be.
So this approach is rather the long-term game.
4) To speak their language and build relationships, you can also move in the same circles and become a member of different organizations and clubs, such as
Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, or BNI, and build your network of high-net-worth individuals.
This approach is still not a short-term game.
Still, it might not take as long as maintaining contact with a buyer or seller client from the median-priced segment over several years until they have increased their purchasing power by climbing the career ladder.
5) As another approach to speaking their language (not to play in their league) you can also consume the same or similar information (e.g., various magazines, blogs, etc.).
By the way, this will also help you better address potential high-end clients in your copywriting.
6) You might consider getting a professional luxury certification like Rocket Homes.
This could be a nice add-on to further gaining trust.
However, I think it won’t be as effective if you don’t do the rest well.
7) You will need to be able to go the extra mile and be prepared for very specific questions.
However, this won’t be limited only to questions.
Because high-end clients are often demanding, being also a concierge or offering concierge services is usually expected.
This can mean meeting clients on time, answering the phone at unusual times, and taking care of their questions without delay.
So, if you are asked if special solar panels can be installed, you might need to know which company can do this and organize and manage the installation itself.
8) A boost of trust and exposure is writing high-quality content for local publications.
It’s a good tactic since many local media outlets are under-resourced and need good content. Combine it with a good content marketing strategy, and you are on the winner’s side.
9) You might not want to start selling million-dollar homes immediately without establishing yourself as a quality realtor.
Gaining trust with high-end real estate clients is more important than it already is in real estate niches with lower price points.
So, you would need to first build some experience and a track record as a realtor for clients with lower budgets.
10) This one is slightly related to being prepared for specific questions.
Studying ZIP codes with high demand for luxury buyers and those neighborhoods is a good idea.
By doing that, you will get to know them well before starting your marketing campaigns.
11) You will make a high-quality and professional impression using highly glossy print magazines with your listings.
This would be part of your marketing that you can distribute in different ways, such as during open houses, office drop-ins, showings, or direct mailing campaigns.
12) Since you will make a higher effort to play on a quality professional level, you will need a marketing production team.
You can then delegate tasks such as producing professional listing photos, videos (V.R. to 360-degree tours), virtual staging, etc.
13) This one goes back to point 9.
Especially for high-end seller clients, you likely need to show a track record of successfully selling high-dollar properties.
But this is not only limited to high-end sellers. Buyers will also probably want to know this.
14) When communicating with high-end clients, you want to consider their likely psychological profile.
So, by offering over-the-top professional real estate services, you acknowledge their part of demanding high achievers with high time awareness.
You can better make them feel confident and address a potentially harmed self-worth.
You do this by being a good listener and showing them that your properties create outstanding exterior impressions.
15) Your marketing budget will need to be significantly higher than marketing in the average housing market.
You might have already reasoned this from the above methods and strategies.
But all these polished print materials, open houses, professional and high-quality video production and photography, publications in print magazines, billboards, and special events for new listings can cost significant money.
Don’t Forget to Measure the Real Estate Marketing Results
Since you will need a higher marketing budget to attract high-end real estate clients, you don’t want to forget to measure the results you get.
As discussed in my past article, this is a crucial real estate marketing plan element.
All the spending doesn’t make sense if you don’t get a positive return on investment.
Not to go too much into detail, but you want to know where your high-end clients found out about you.
So you want to register each new client and note which marketing channel they came from. By that, you can determine your cost per acquisition (CPA).
This is not easy to do if you get many clients by referrals, as is the case in luxury real estate marketing.
The longer the referral chain gets, the more difficult it gets to determine the initial one.
But if you can, you will be able to compare different CPAs of different marketing channels.
Then you can throw out the bad ones and keep the good ones.
You can then focus on the good ones and/or scale them to further grow your real estate business.
Real Estate Expert Q&A
I also asked our real expert Scott Russell from Freestone Properties, about his best-performing marketing method to attract high-end or luxury real estate clients.
Below you will find his answers.
What was your best-performing marketing method to attract high-end or luxury real estate clients, and why do you think this was the case?
“Mostly word-of-mouth and through social circles. High-end clients typically work with people they know or with the people that come highly recommended.”
What is the main difference from other real estate marketing methods when targeting luxury real estate clients?
“High-end clients want to know before they even contact an agent that the agent has experience, expertise, and a good reputation.
They aren’t interested in picking out a new agent as much as they are relying on a friend’s good experience with an agent.“
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.